Posts Tagged ‘pillows’

Of Reindeer and Chenille

December 28, 2016

Despite the approach of 2017, or perhaps because of it, I’m starting this post off with something cheerful and cute:

Lani Longshore reindeer

This is a Christmas present from my son. The kids sometimes tease me about my odd collections, but they know how to make me smile. Having something to smile about will be important in the coming weeks, because my Christmas present to myself was permission to ignore the projects in the sewing room.

I did manage to start one project, turning chenille into products that might be marketed with The Chenille Ultimatum. My co-author Ann Anastasio saw a tote bag with raw seams that we thought would work well for chenille.

Lani Longshore chenille tote bag

The bag is made from one long strip of fabric and two small rectangles for side panels. I added the pocket. The raw edges are ideal for chenille, since managing those thick seams isn’t fun at all. Here is the reason I know that:

Lani Longshore chenille pillow

Turning the pillow corners took nearly as long as sewing the entire envelope. I’m not sure if it would be easier to make a round pillow or to try inserting tassels in the corners to hide any irregularities.

Those are questions for another day, however. Today, I’m going to admire my new reindeer, and ignore my projects as my New Year’s gift to myself.

Luck and wisdom!

Creating A New Stack

October 14, 2015

I finished two pillows recently, both with embroidered squares my grandmother marked but never completed.

No one sees the pen marks if you don't mention them

No one sees the pen marks if you don’t mention them

This is the one she marked with a ballpoint pen. Put it on the couch with a bunch of other pillows and no one notices. Big win.

Good enough for the good fabric

Good enough for the good fabric

This is another one from her collection. I loved the way it turned out, so I decided to use the good stuff for the back.

Lani Longshore pink back

I have many pieces of fabric that are too good to cut. This was one of them, but I cut it anyway. Once I had the pillow back pieced, I considered the remaining length. “Self,” I said, “you could combine this with another fabric that is too good to cut.” I found a sample of silk that I dyed in a Betty Busby class and sewed the two together.

Lani Longshore pink top

Just as I was congratulating myself that there was enough left of the pink floral to make a beaded wall-hanging, I realized the awful truth. I reduced my stack of embroidery only to create a new stack of stuff to be beaded. Truly, no good deed goes unpunished.

Luck and wisdom!

Ghosts of Projects Past

July 29, 2015

I finished embroidering the squares I inherited from my grandmother. There are still two pillow forms left from my binge buying when they were on sale, so I planted myself in the sewing room and closed my eyes. “Self,” I said, “when you open your eyes, you’re going to see the right fabric for the pillows.”

It worked.

The fabric is from a series of spring quilts

The fabric is from a series of spring quilts

There are many bins with fabric collections in my sewing room, but I opened my eyes to the one with big-ish pieces left from other projects. No piece is larger than a half-yard, most are fat quarter size. That’s enough to make me feel guilty that I don’t have another project, but not enough to actually make another quilt. Pillows are a different critter. Pillows I can do with fat quarters and half-yards.

The fabric is from an Art Nouveau series

The fabric is from an Art Nouveau series

I’m not the only one benefiting from ghosts of projects past. We were talking with a friend about plans for our landscaping. My husband mentioned he wanted to do something interesting with large stones. Our friend said he could get us all the stones we needed since his daughter was changing the landscaping of her new house and had large stones she didn’t want.

I wonder if it will still look like an altar when the plants go in

I wonder if it will still look like an altar when the plants go in

Ghosts of projects past – the leftover bits and bobs – often have minds of their own. If you let them, they’ll tell you how to use them.

Luck and wisdom!

The Hijacked Journey

December 3, 2014

I should have known better – never give the universe a chance to have too much fun at your expense. The planned blog for this week was about another version of my Challenge letter project – a journey quilt. That journey got hijacked, big time.

Lani Longshore journey quilt

This is the end of the process – the destination, if you will – and I had planned to show you how I got here. You may notice the last part of the saying “it’s the journey, not the destination” in this photo. You may hear the universe laughing right about now. That’s because the photos of the journey got munched in their own little transporter accident. While moving the photos from one device to another, they were scrambled forever.

So I picked up another path, using my grandmother’s embroidered squares to make pillows. I have enough squares to make a pillow each for my brother and cousins.

Lani Longshore embroidered pillow

Lani Longshore pillow

Lani Longshore large pillow

My grandmother bound many of her quilts with prairie points. I’m using them as a design element, mainly because I could never make a long string of prairie points lie flat and straight. Three is my maximum, and even then there is much swearing and gnashing of teeth.

And in another journey/plot twist, the gnashing and naughty words are getting me a new sewing machine. My Viking is a grand little work horse, but it is old – twenty years old. Lately it has been skipping stitches, and the bobbin pops off the spindle if I look at it funny. My husband said the waves of frustration rolling out of the sewing room are too much to bear, and my birthday present is a new machine. He even found a link to a site evaluating the ten best sewing machines for quilters.

Honestly, I did not have a meltdown on purpose (but I’m still accepting the gift!).

Luck and wisdom!

My Kind of Forest

September 10, 2014

I was able to see forests and trees this week by turning dog bed forms into daybed pillows.

A tidy forest close at hand

A tidy forest close at hand

I brought my husband to the fabric store to show him the kinds of pillows I could make. As we strolled through the display, I noticed a clearance sale on small dog bed forms. My husband pronounced them the perfect size and squishiness.

When we got home, I showed him my collection of tree fabric. For once, reason prevailed – I held nothing back because in my heart I know I will never finish all the quilts my collected fabrics could make. Better to get them out as pillows than have them hiding in a pile. He chose some and I got to work.

Lani Longshore green pillow detail

My go-to design with home dec is a simple stripe. The best part is there is a decent sized square of this left over, so I’ll get to turn it into a small tree quit after all.

Lani Longshore mountain detail

I could never bring myself to cut up these mountains. I still haven’t cut them up, and I used them in a project. That’s a victory in my book.

Lani Longshore green fabrics

The last pillow will be made from these fabrics. When it is done, I’ll have reduced a fabric pile by one-third, made another corner of the house colorful and comfy, and put myself back on the path of finishing things. Time for the happy dance.

Luck and wisdom!